Jump to content

Hardware for controlling lights


Recommended Posts

I'm to the point where I finally have my light set up switched over to a DMX/USB interface but now wanted to explore a few hardware controllers. Currently I have a MIDI interface and a small Oxygen keyboard that I use for audio but wanted a little more fader options. From what I've seen around these seem to be the most flexible and/or very affordable. Has anyone used any of the following, especially in a lighting scenario. I imagine (or hope) it's fairly straight forward for any of these to be implemented within a software like Freestyler.


Novation Launch Pad- Besides the obviously large amount of pads (that I may be able to use for specific light parameters such as different colors, gobos, strobes) I'm guessing that the play buttons on the side could be used for chases or specific washes.


Akai apc20- This appears to be the best of all worlds


NanoKONTROL2- This seems like a self explanatory model (faders, knobs etc)


NanoPAD2- This unit has two rows of 8 pads. I suppose it's possible to "press and hold" for a fader-like



I have gone thru some of the forums from the past but just wanted to throw a few current models that I have seen around. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we can't really help unless you explain what you want to do. I suspect a tiny majority of our members would have the need to use a music keyboard to operate the lighting - so our suggestions might miss the point. What are you using the lighting for?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more detail on your lighting rig would be helpful, but all these control surfaces that you list are more expensive than a basic, general-purpose lighting desk such as http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_dmxmaster_mkii_pt.htm

Rather than trying to use MIDI to control a computer to control a DMX interface, why not just use a proper DMX desk?

Depending on the software you are running on your computer, you may also find that it can accept an incoming DMX signal as well, giving you the best of both worlds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own a Launchpad for use with Ableton Live 8, and would be pretty interested to see the use of that in lighting.


I have used the Korg Kontrol2 and NanoPad, Both for Ableton though. There plastic and cheap but they work ok, although you would probably have greater accuracy of control with a proper DMX desk.


The launchpad is basically an 8x8 grid of buttons and I think having the ability to use them for scenes or states could be a useful addition to a lighting control set up using a combination of a proper DMX desk and computer interface as greenalien suggested. 8 Pages with 8 scenes, plus the inbuilt page swap ability in the launchpad, meaning I think it has 128 MIDI notes going out making it a much wider range than a MIDI keyboard. You could store and load up to 128 scenes and control individual fixtures from the DMX desk. Or if you bought a small DMX desk, say 12 channel, there might be a way of using the Launchpad with the computer to quickly change the address you're sending signal to, eliminating the need to type or scroll. ALthough if you only have a small number of Dimmers there will be a lot of unused buttons. Maybe you could use the launchPad as one big GO button? :P

I'm sure you could do that with the NanoPad as well, assign the pads to GO x 1, GO x 2, Black out, Full wash, a house light Q, stop, back and FX GO maybe...


Are you using to Freestyler to control your USB/DMX? And does it have MIDI mapping support? I'm sorry I'm not familiar with it :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.